Today I drove from Oklahoma City to Austin, Texas. Only 400 miles, but there was traffic around Dallas and in Austin so it took longer than I anticipated.
We have an office here and I'm meeting Bungane - who leads the office - in the morning for breakfast and a quick spin, and then tomorrow is a long run to Mobile, AL. 630 miles.
I got an Airbnb for the night, a room in a three bedroom house in South Austin. I couldn't take another soulless Holiday Inn Express (nothing against them, they're great when all you want to do is crash. They just make me feel derealized like Edward Norton in Fight Club after too many nights in a row). It's one of those places where they rent out all the rooms and the owners live somewhere else, so you're likely to run into other Airbnb'ers. Have met some cool people this way (and some crazy ones) but tonight I've got the place to myself.
I've always struggled to force myself to go to sleep at night. Having a smartphone makes it worse - I'll just endlessly watch Downhill Mountain Biking videos on YouTube or awful Netflix movies or just thumb through Twitter until my eyes burn and I finally fall asleep.
Yesterday I decided to enforce a habit of turning all my screens off before bed and reading a physical book (as opposed to a Kindle book on my phone, where I'm just a swipe away from Twitter) until I fall asleep. I stopped at a Barnes and Nobles in Amarillo and bought a Kim Stanley Robinson book to kick off my new habit. It's about a prehistoric Shaman, I think.
I'm grateful for my new habit tonight, particularly. As soon as I finish this post I'm going to put my phone down and I'm not going to check it until tomorrow sometime. If I don't do that, I'll just thumb through the horror of what happened today until the early hours of the morning, riding waves of emotions of helplessness, shameful tragedy vouyerism, and anger, all mixed up with exhaustion and that sensation of rootlessness you get on solo road trips. It's a sad day.